Sunday, 14 October 2018

Finishing Roaccutane

My last roaccutane update was at the end of month 6. We are now at 7 and a half months and I have decided to finish taking my medication two weeks earlier than planned. I went to the dermatologist last week, and as soon as I walked into the consultation room he said "Lucy I think we should stop at 8 months". I was really happy he said it before I got that chance too, as I have wanted to finish it for the last month or so. Due to appointments I had ended up with three weeks' worth of medication left, so he said to finish that and then stop. I decided myself this week I wanted to stop. When I took my last contraceptive pill for this month, on that day I also took my last roaccutane tablets. It has been a long time coming and I have had such strange effects the last 8 weeks or so, I needed to do it.

I have felt such a change in my mood. I have been crying on a daily basis, not even because I feel particularly low in mood but anything triggers tears. This is something I have never experienced and it is either my pill or the roaccutane. My contraceptive pill I have been on is rigevidon and I have been on this many times before, and never had these side effects. I did a lot of research before deciding to take roaccutane and this seems to be a common side effect. I have also been over thinking everything which I have been doing, and it has made me a little on edge. I just have not enjoyed the way I have been feeling and I decided to finish it all at once. I want to be completely hormone free, I don't want anything extra in my body and I am hoping this will take me back to my old self.

There is no denying roaccutane has changed my life. I cannot describe how much happier it makes me being spot free. It is so nice talking about my acne in the past tense, as it has been with me for over 10 years. I am going to do before and after pictures, but I am going to post them in my final roaccutane post which will be up in December. The dermatologist wants me to have a final appointment in December to check that everything is still okay. I am so nervous about the aspect of the acne returning. He said to me that my nose was looking shiny and my eyes literally filled my tears. I looked in the mirror in the room and to me my nose has been so much shinier than it was in that moment. I am just going to try and not focus on it. I am so happy that I now feel confident makeup free, and that at the end of the day was my goal for this entire process. I feel as though I have lost my love for makeup as I have wanted to keep my skin as clear as I can, so I am excited to get back into the makeup love affair. I am still keeping my skincare routine as simple as possible as I know my skin is still fragile. I'll tell you what I am excited about - getting my eyebrows waxed and tinted!

In terms of other side effects, my skin has very much settled down. My lips are still very dry, my aloe vera vaseline is still my most trusty friend. They crack a ridiculous amount on a daily basis, and I cannot wait for them to get back normal.

I am really excited to see what the next month or two holds. However, I do not feel as though I am in the clear yet. I am praying that my skin is still beautiful and my hormones re-balance and I start to feel like the old me.



Sunday, 7 October 2018

Getting my blogging game back on

I know I have written a few of these posts over my blogging years. I think having nearly had this blog for five years, it is definitely bound to happen over time. For a few months throughout the summer I literally had rock bottom motivation to even open up blogger and consider writing any kind of post. It was strange, but I knew that everything would be okay and it would bypass just like many times before. I always find that after a holiday I feel like I got my mojo back and I am reading to knuckle down with all things to do with my blog.

I feel like in my nearly 5 years of blogging things have changed so much, and does with such speed it can sometimes make you feel like you are not in the game at all. I feel like everyone around me is upping their game, and I am at the bottom of the heap struggling to stay afloat. I think this is often how you can feel in life in general. I have definitely experienced this many times, when you feel everyone around you is achieving and you are either plateauing or sinking. When I finally get that urge again to go out and get what I want, it spurs me on in wanting to better myself and my blog. I also use this moto in all aspects of my life. There is no way you are going to go through your life every day of every year being at the top of your game, life comes with peaks and troves and it's how we overcome them which is the biggest achievement.

I do find though that the blogosphere changes at such a rapid rate. When it is just a hobby, you do find yourself feeling as though you are left behind, I often remind myself this is not my job. Trying to beat the Instagram algorithms on a daily basis, posting at a certain time, having a specific theme all with the same colour, posting twice a day, it can all take a toll and it does sometime take the fun aspect away of blogging for me. It is no longer just your one blog and that platform, every time a new social media app comes out it is getting on board with it. It is the little things such as planning when I am taking my break at work to get my photo up bob on 8am, I just sit and laugh sometimes because it really is not real life in the slightest. I think out of all of the things I tell myself, remembering that social media really is just the greater aspects of someone's life on show, a snap shot, and someone's smile can easily fade after the photo has been taken. I love Instagram and I think it is a great app, but I find it the most stressful out of them all.

I think if I came into the blogging world now as a newbie other social medias would take preference over an actual blog. Calling yourself a blogger seems to have drifted out and it's either an influencer or a content creator, in all honestly I can't really get on board with either of those as I will and always will be a blogger, as this is where I started and what I enjoy the most. I do fear that blogging is slowly but surely taking a backseat. When I first started my favourite bloggers were posting every single day, and I know other social media outlooks have come into play, and for some they have definitely taken priority. People aren't taking the time to post lengthy, in depth posts about products anymore, when they can write it in a quick caption on Insta or Twitter. Blogging is what changed and structure this new and exciting industry, and things definitely do need to change along the way in order for it to continue to develop. However, I do fear blogging is slowly deteriorating as we have seen with other social networks sites such as MySpace. In all honesty, all of these thoughts and feelings are definitely what pushes me to continue with my blog, as I want the blogging space and community to go on for as long as possible.

I really have never been one to look at my stats closely and analysis them. I do however love it when I see a particular post which has done really well, as this then helps me to plan and create my future content. I think expanding from just beauty posts, into lifestyle and travel was such a great move for me as it allowed me to have so much more scope to write about. I love a blog with varied content which you get engrossed in to, as before you know it you have read 10 posts and it keeps you wanting to go back for more.

I do need to continue to push myself in order to keep my mind-set fresh and keep the content coming on a regular basis. I often get stuck in ruts; I won't take photos for two weeks and instead of putting time to one side to do this, I just let the time dwindle away with me. I recently went on a jam pack weekend away which involved lots of activities, and I picked up my phone only at night. I felt fantastic and I thought to myself why do I spend an hour scrolling Twitter endlessly when I could be utilising my time writing posts. I moan, like everyone does, about time management and being too busy. That weekend away really did put into perspective that it is how we choose to use our spare time, and that really counts. I am all for days of just doing absolute nothing, my job is demanding and sometimes I don't want to wake up and force myself to create content. However, I am definitely going to try and get into a better more structured routine. I love getting things done first thing in the morning, as it leaves me with the rest of the day to do whatever I want without that sense of guilt hanging over you. I know I waste endless amount of hours scrolling on my phone, and it is my goal to make that stop.

All in all, until I get a real urge that blogging is 100% no longer for me this blog will continue. I still struggle with explaining to my friends what I do and what it involves, and I really do not think until you have done it you can explain it. I do love that it is an outlet just for me, that none of my close friends actually share with me. It is my own little own project which I run by myself. Most importantly, it gives me a mind-set for a period of time for me to do what I want to as I complete control of it.



Wednesday, 26 September 2018

Primark's Berry Velvets (Huda Beauty Dupe)

There is no denying Primark have invested a lot of money and time into their beauty section over the last year. I often visit their huge store in Manchester, and the aisles of beauty products seem to grow every time I go in. That obviously means that every time I go in I need to investigate any new items. There is no denying that they produce products so fast to keep up with trends just like their clothing, however I think their recent releases definitely got me thinking about the whole dupes/copying high end brands issue which is often talked about in the beauty industry.

When I went into Primark at the start of August and was browsing the aisles of the makeup, my eyes were drawn to a small stand of eye palettes in quad shapes. I picked up berry velvets and I was instantly happy with the colour scheme within this quad. Hence the name, the shades are all themed around berry tones which are my favourites during the Autumn. I was drawn to these petite quad shaped palettes, as I had been longing after a Huda Beauty quad eyeshadow palette for the longest time. If you look at Huda's mauve obsession palette, you will be able to instantly see the resemblance between them. The 9 shades are definitely based around the same shade range, and also come with a mix of mattes and metallics. However, Huda's palette is £25 and the Primark version is £3.

There was a sample quad which I was able to swatch and I was surprised at how pigmented they looked on first impressions. The problem with Primark makeup is consumers do not always use the swatch palette on the display to test the colours, meaning many of the products get ruined. I was glad to see that they have started coating their palettes with a plastic layer which needed to be cut off after being purchased. This was only £3 which I thought was an absolute bargain so I put it into my basket and headed on my merry way.

I have been playing around with this Primark berry velvets palette for a few weeks now, and I am very happy to report that you need to run down to your local Primark and pick it up. I have tried and reviewed many Primark beauty products over the last year, but never any eyeshadows and I have to say they have done exceptionally well with this range. I do love buying high end eyeshadow palettes, I think Urban Decay's heat palette is my most used palette which I own. However, I am definitely not a beauty lover who only buys high end products, as I definitely buy more from high streets shops. I love finding products which are great high end alternatives for a fraction of the price.

My favourite two shadows which I have been wearing together are sweetness (mid toned pink) with wild hearts (pink metallic) blended together. Devotion is a copper metallic and is such a beautiful and well pigmented shade. There are three shades which on swatch look a little bit chalky, they are peace (white pearlised), selfish (mid toned purple metallic) and tough love (dark plum mettalic). However, the two darker purple shades selfish and tough love look great when applied to the eye. Pearl is a little bit light for me as I love using this kind of shade for under my brow bone, and it does not quite give me the pop I wanted. Although, humble (light pink metallic) is perfect for this and has beautiful pigmentation.

Overall, for £3 this is one of the best high street palettes which I have tried for a while. Normally, on the high street this palette would cost £8/9 at a minimum, so I am not quite sure how Primark has managed to produce such a good quality palette for such a small price. The packaging is card and the corners will probably start to ruin after a few uses, but I have noticed a lot of palettes are now coming in card packaging. I think that this will be a brilliant palette to travel with as it is so dinky and portable. I am very impressed with this and there was two other palettes in this range, one had smokey brown tones and the other was bright and vibrant. I will definitely be looking out for them on my future visits to pick up and try.



Sunday, 23 September 2018


I haven't been this excited to write a blog post in ages. My trip to Madeira was honestly one of the best, and I have so many memories which I know I will treasure forever. Before going on this trip I really did not know much about the island in the slightest. My parents had visited 25 years ago and always had such fantastic things to say about it. As I went with my parents on this trip I kind of just let them plan it, and was just happy to having our annual family two week summer holiday booked.

I did do some research before we went and we always buy a guidebook which I think is a staple for any trip. We noted that there were a few tourist attractions and places which we definitely wanted to visit. My parents still love to go holidays where you have a rep. This year it was very useful as we attended the welcome meeting and we were told a lot about the city of Funchal which is where we were staying. We stayed about the Hotel Girassol which was located just on the outskirts of the city. There were lots of hotels in this part of the city as it was just a little bit away from the main city action, but there were still lots of bars, restaurants and shops.

We were told by the rep that getting into the centre of Funchal would be a 30 minute walk. Most of the time we opted to use the local buses which costs €1.95 per person each way. It was a 10 minute journey and the buses were every 15 minutes. This was the first holiday where we have ever been all-inclusive and I have to say it was definitely good value for money. We usually go self-catered and I did the miss being able to stroll and choose the restaurant and have a more varied selection of food. However, the hotel did provide a good variety of food, but by day 14 as I think with any all-inclusive holiday we were a little bit bored. On two of the nights we choose to eat out of the hotel but just stayed in our smaller resort and the food was great. One thing we did notice though is that the food is not cheap. A meal for 3 would cost €60-75 depending on if we wanted wine or not. We did all say though that the food was delicious so we did not mind paying it, but if you were self-catered it would have been a large expense. We also ate in the centre of Funchal when we went in for either the attractions of to look further around the city. Once again the food was great, and there was a wide range of food on offer. If you like fish then Madeira is perfect for you, as they catch all their fish locally and it is one of the main trades and incomes for the island.

The first attraction we did was the cable cars. This is definitely one of the top tourist attractions which Madeira has to offer to visitors. The cable cars take you into the hills and when I say it goes high, it goes high! I'm not a huge fan of heights, but this shocked me as on the way up I felt queasy and scared. Once at the top you arrive in Monte which is a small village, we planned to go around the Botanical Gardens which you can only get to by taking the second cable car half way back down the hill. This was opened in the 1960's by the Reid's family (who I will come onto later). The gardens were lovely to walk around as the sun was shining and it was a pleasant, but steep walk. We then went to a lovely little cafe that has the most fantastic views overlooking the island.

When we go on holiday I always think the sightseeing buses are worth paying for. They give you a great insight of the city, you learn about their history and also you can hop on and off to sights which you want to see. We chose to go on the city sightseeing bus as it went to all of the places we wanted to visit. On the first day we decided to get the blue line which took us to Monte, where we went to the Monte Palace Tropical Gardens. Out of the two gardens if you only have time to visit one, I would definitely choose this one. It is absolutely huge in total is covers 70,000 square meters, and it took us hours to go round. This is also fairly steep, as it is set in the hills but it was so beautiful. There are waterfalls, bridges and tropical houses which have exotic plants from all over the world. It is kind of like a spiral down and when you reach the middle you get to the museum which so beautiful to look at, it is surrounded by such an array of plants and trees and has a lake running throughout the middle of it.

Monte is also where you can get on their famous basket carts, they are basically big wooden woven baskets which two people sit in. You start at the top of a very steep hill and two men push you down and it's basically a big slide, but in fact it is down one of their regular roads with cars. We were considering doing this but we thought it was expensive and we did not have a real desire to do it, although it would have definitely have been fun.

On the second day of using our city-seeing bus tour ticket, we visited a place called Camara de Lobos. The bus which takes you here are much smaller as they have to get up the narrow winding roads into the very edges of the island. When you reach the top there is a large fishing port and a picaresque stretch of shops and restaurants. We spent an hour or two looking round and then sat down overlooking the port and had some lunch. On the way back down we finished off by swapping buses and seeing the other parts of the tour which we had not yet done.

Reid's Palace was somewhere which my mum had mentioned quite a few times, and was definitely at the top of her must visit list. The rep informed us of what it was and its location, my mum was determined for us to go during our holiday at some point for their famous afternoon tea. There was so much to write about that I have actually written an individual post all about it here. To give a very concise round up, Reid's Palace is a five stars hotel which is in Funchal, they offer an afternoon tea where you sit on their balcony which overlooks the entire island. It is a must visit trip from me, and it is a memory which we will all be telling people when this holiday is brought up in conversation.

The city of Funchal itself has a lot of exploring on offer, as it has an old and a new town. Within the new town they host many well-known shops, and I definitely did more shopping than I expected! The city also has a cathedral which is open must times of the day, and has some stunning stain-glass windows to view. The city is perfect for strolling and stopping off for a tea and cake every hour. Funchal is a popular destination as the first stop on a lot of European cruise liners, meaning that some days the city could be very busy with a large amount of tourists. This is great for the locals and their businesses as it brings a lot amount of income for them.

Overall, I had such a fantastic holiday and I have recommended to everyone who will listen that they should visit Madeira. They live such a lovely and relaxed lifestyle, and I definitely de-stressed and relaxed from the usual hustle and bustle of everyday life. I don't think I would rush back as I feel as though we thoroughly explored a lot of the island. I love to discover new places and I cannot wait for my next adventure.


Wednesday, 19 September 2018

Reid's Palace for Afternoon Tea - Madeira


My latest travel adventure took me to Madeira and wow what a beautiful place it is. I did not know much about the island at all before visiting, but since returning I have been telling everyone who will listen to visit. Whilst staying in Funchal which is the capital of the island, we were recommended to visit the five stars Reid's Palace Hotel for their afternoon tea experience.

We decided to go one afternoon and it was so delightful, we all had such a wonderful time. We had been told that it is pretty fancy, and it really was. Even during the day it is evening attire and they are pretty strict with their dress code. We arrived for our afternoon tea and we were a little bit early, so we were told we could take a wander around the hotel and their grounds. It has some beautiful decor and we were all wishing we could afford to stay at the hotel. After a quick Google search we discovered that it was very much out of our price range starting at €340 a night for a classic room going up to €900 for a suite, but if you want a luxurious trip then this hotel would be perfect.

At time we had booked we were invited onto the balcony for our afternoon tea sitting. It was beautiful and the balcony overlooks the island which was so pleasant and tranquil. The first course was the sandwiches and all the staff were lovely and very accommodating as we did not like all of the fillings. We were informed at the start that you can order more of the same course if you want to. I think we got swept up in all of the excitement and we decided to go in for round two with the sandwiches.

Next up, were the scones. They were just how I like them and they came with a variety of jams and a perfectly made clotted cream. This was probably my favourite round! When you first arrive at your table they give you a menu with lots of different types and blends of teas. You are able to have other drinks if you prefer. I decided to go for the Reid's traditional tea which I really enjoyed, as you can see from the picture the teapot is rather large. You also get bottomless tea which was great as you could different types throughout the afternoon.

After the scones came the cakes. I have to say me and mum were originally the most excited for this round for all the reasons you would expect. The cake selection was massive, and we didn't know where to start. The little fruit tarts were my favourite. As you would expect they were all very fancy, and some of them a little too much and I just couldn't face them all. Don't worry though between us all we at least managed to try them all!

When you book for the afternoon tea which costs €35 per person you do get told you get 2 hours at your allocated table. They were really relaxed with this which was really great as we still had a few cakes to get through at the 2 hours mark. They were not offering you another round of cakes which is obviously totally acceptable, as they do have three set times of sittings for the afternoon tea in a day. It was not a cheap but it was a lovely day out and we all thoroughly enjoyed it. The food and tea were all lovely, and the view was the perfect setting. We all went back to the hotel very full, but all very happy. It is located just on the outskirts of the centre of Funchal but it is very easy to get to as throughout Madeira public transport is great. We were very lucky that Reid's was only a 10 minute stroll from our hotel.


Sunday, 16 September 2018

Wanting to Explore

I feel like recently I have had the urge more than ever to just pack up a bag and head off on a lifetime trip. I am not in a stable relationship, I am saving for a house- but that can definitely wait, and there will always be work for me when I get home. In all honesty, if I could make just a small a wage from my blog and social media I would be off in a no time.

I feel like turning 24 has been a bit of a defining point in terms of my feeling like I need to make something of myself. I am not sure if that is going on an adventure, but I do feel as though I need some escapism. Everyone at work literally says to me 'you are always on holiday', the fact is I get 6 weeks a year off and my 2018 goal was to use all my annual leave for holidays. I don't need to use my holidays for child care, I use them for enjoyment and for me that is to leave my house and get on a plane. I did take a gap year and I never did the travelling thing, I worked the entire year and there was no way with the wage I was on I was travelling anyway! The furthest I made was 10 days in Ayia Napa! I was definitely too young and naive to have gone travelling then anyway, I doubt I would have latest very long. I think after going to university a lot think that your life is now just work, work, work. In reality, after being in education for so long and now working full time for two years I have definitely got that urge to just pack up and go.

The thing is I haven't got a burning desire to visit somewhere in particularly. I have always wanted to go to New Zealand and Australia, but I know I will need to save up a lot to be able to even afford my plane tickets, that is definitely something for the bucket list. I have enjoyed this year just using bits of annual leave here and there and going off on shorter city breaks, rather than a week or two weeks at a time. This year I started off by visiting Hamburg in February and Guernsey in April. I have recently been on a two week break with my family to Maderia which was beautiful. I am hopefully heading away in October, then Edinburgh in December for the Christmas markets. Within the last few weeks my travelling agenda for 2019 has been coming together very well. Disneyland Paris is finally happening in February (eek!), Centreparcs in March and hopefully Copenhagen in April. My friend from university and I are hopefully going on an adventure possibly to India for 3 weeks at some point, which is so exciting!

In order to save for my trips I have a saving accounts and I use that for partly saving for a house and the other half for travel. I have also opened a help to buy ISA which is proving to be working very well. Say I save £400 one particular month, I will decide and make a note depending on that month's plans how much is going for trips and how much is going towards the house. It is a very simple method. My kind of rationale is I have worked hard for my money, and I will spend it on whatever I want as long as I am sensible.

I have never really been a spontaneous person, I always like plans and to be organised to a fashion. I think I am somewhat easy going but I like to know times and places of things I am doing. Even though I would like nothing more than to pack up and leave. However, I have so many worries in my mind, and I am not sure that just taking 9 months off and going on this huge adventure is going to be the answer to what I am looking for. So I think for now my 2019 goal is going to be the same as 2018, to use all my annual leave to the best I can. I think with where I work its great as it is not Monday-Friday, I can use requests to my advantage so I only use a small amount of annual leave at a time. I know it is only September but there is nothing more exciting than having a holiday to countdown too and already cannot wait to book my next adventures!


Wednesday, 12 September 2018

Jaclyn Hill x Morphe The Vault Collection: Bling Boss

This announcement of this launch from Jaclyn Hill and Morphe got me very excited. As you know I was, and still am a big fan of her first palette and I did a full review here if you wish to read it. The Vault is a collection of four different palettes - bling boss, ring the alarm, dark magic and armed and gorgeous. I think the price point of these are really good, they are £15 each or you can buy the full vault for £49.

I was debating which palette to choose for a few days. I originally was drawn to the ring the alarm palette as it has all of the classic orange, yellow and copper shades which I am always drawn to. However, I do already own 20 palettes that have this type of shades it, so I decided to venture of out my norm and go for bling boss which mainly focuses on purple shades.

I was super excited when it arrived as the palette contains such a fantastic array of colours. This has a mixture of mattes and shimmers which is what I like in a palette as it allows you to create a lot of different looks. So as always being the blogger I am I start to take my pictures, and do some swatches. I really liked the texture of the shadows as they are creamy and pick up easily out of the pan. My first impressions were a little disappointing as some of the shades did not have good pay off.

The first row shades: bling bling (silvery pink glitz), hush hush (matte mauve), hem (vibrant violent shimmer), pizzazz (glittery magenta) and mystic ( matte brown toned purple).

`Second row: sparks (matte strawberry red), glitz & glam (shimmering rose gold), rockstar (matte purple), ballsy (glittery mauve pink) and berry treasure (glittery black).

The matte shades are definitely the ones which I am the most disappointed with. I wanted the dark mattes to be the true dark they should be, but they just did not perform in comparison to my other favourite palettes. You can see in the swatches that the shadows look a little ashy and the pigmentation is not the best. I feel like some of the mattes have been made well, but look at the comparison between the three matte shades in this picture. Sparks (top) has a great colour pay off which is so different compared to rockstar (third) which looks so patchy and uneven. As always I try to swatch these equally. The ones which I found patchy I reswatched, but time and time again I saw no improvement.

As I have already mentioned I was really impressed with Jaclyn's first palette with Morphe. However, the bling boss palette has not left me with the urge to buy any other palettes form this collection. There are some great shimmer shades in this palette and this is where the palette does do well. The shades bling bling and glitz & glam are great and I have reached for them the most out of all the shades. This palette has opened my eyes to the fact that I should step away from my classic go to shades and use more reds and purples and be a little more creative.

I usually write posts on all of the beauty products I am loving, as I love to find hidden gems with the beauty industry. When a product is launched which I am excited about such as this palette I want to be honest with my reviews. I really wanted to love this, but I have used it a lot and my overall opinion is simple - there is a mixture of some great and some dud shades.



Wednesday, 5 September 2018

Glossier Balm Dot Com

Glossier arrived on the scene with a bang, and I thought I would let all the hype settle down before deciding what to buy. Time and time again, I saw bloggers mention their balm dot com lip balms (£10) and as a girl with very dry lips I am always willing to try a new lip product.

I ordered two different flavours cherry and birthday. They essentially both have the exact same ingredients which are very simple but effective and this is the main reason Glossier's products have done so well. They contain bees wax, lanolin and castor seed oil as its key ingredients.

This is an all purpose balm which is great as it is multi-functional. The emollient is quite thick which I don't mind, but if you don't like the feeling of any product on your lips then the balm dot come is not for you. When applied straight on to the lips I do feel an instant soothing, it is a little sticky which is not a problem for me. As someone who lips get very cracked and overly dry, this provides instant relief and comfort.

To be fair you could describe this as glorified Vaseline, but I do find that there is a different in consistency due to it being a little thicker. The cherry flavouring can definitely be tasted when applied to the lips and it comes out the tube as a red balm. When it is blended into the lips it does have a hint of redness still to it and it does not rub in transparent. The birthday flavour does in fact taste like the sweet frosting to a birthday cake, which I again like. If you do not like sweet scents then I wouldn't opt for this one. There are no colourings to the birthday balm, but it does have a hint of glitter running through it which makes your lips look a little glittery. If you want something plain and simple they do an original balm dot com, which is probably your best bet if you just want the product with no frills. They also do coconut, mint and rose flavourings in this collection.

I have enjoyed keeping this in my pocket at work and applying it liberally when my lips get extra dry due to the air conditioning and rushing around. A little goes a long way and if you need some instant re hydration with one application this does the job.


Wednesday, 29 August 2018

Colourpop Lip Haul

Top to bottom - here's 2 u, new rules, renman, london fog and tight fit.

So the story goes a little bit like this.. there was a Colourpop sale on, I couldn't resist and then five lip products magically appeared at my front door a week later.

I hadn't actually bought any new lip products in ages, so I was really excited when I placed this order. As usual the service was really easy. A few years ago when I placed my first order I wrote a post about how the shipping works and the best way to avoid pay taxes and extra costs.

This was the first time I have bought any type of glosses from Colourpop but I was instantly drawn in by here's 2 u.  It is a stunning prismatic pink shade which has a high shine finish. This is a great girly lipgloss which reminds me of the glittery shade I would always pick as a child. This is not too sticky and makes your lips look much fuller and juicy. Tight fit is also an ultra glossy lip gloss but this has peachy metallic finish which has a pink shimmer running through it. This is a much more full-coverage gloss which is very shiny. I wore this the night it arrived, and I can tell you that I already know I am going to loveeeee this. I wore it with a nude lipstick and the combination was beautiful. I was totally feeling the duo together and I already know it is going to be a go-to product.

I didn't own many red lip products prior to this order, maybe 2 or 3 max. I thought it was time to broaden my lip collection and introduce two at once. The first is london fog which is a classic true red. I think I prefer a red which is a little brighter and mid toned due to my fair colours. I also picked up renman which is a true blue red, which I can imagine wearing on a sunny day with a cocktail in my hand. I am really excited to try both of these, they are both ultra satin finishes which is my favourite finish that they offer. They dry down to a comfortable matte which still has some shine to it. The pigmentation is always incredible and I have never been disappointed with any lip products which I have ever bought from this line.

I first ordered a lippie stix on the whim as a last minute addition to an order. I was intrigued as to what they were, and how they worked. I think these may be my favourite lip product which Colourpop sell. They are described as a matte finish, but I do not enjoy a truly matte finish on my lips at all. I find them way too dry and uncomfortable, but these are super creamy and have a velvety feel to them. It is a very unique but also such an incredible formula, unlike anything else out there on the beauty market. They contain shea butter and vitamin e to create the silky feel when applied to the lips. New rules is a dark dusty mauve which made my eyes light up when I swatched it. I really love dark pink shades and this is going to be a great addition to my others.



Wednesday, 22 August 2018

Roaccutane Months 4 - 6

I cannot believe I am approaching the end of month 6 of my roaccutane regime. Time has absolutely flown by, and thankfully my side effects haven't really changed or worsened as time has gone on. My lips are still as dry as the desert, but some vaseline aloe vera has saved my life on a daily basis. I think I currently have five of these on the go at the moment, dotted around my bedroom and in every handbag that I use.

I have had some some eczema-type patches appear especially when the weather has been boiling. I think it simply because my skin is so dry and sensitive. It turns into a dry rash but I have been using my Child's Farm baby moisturiser (post) and it has been helping to rehydrate the skin.

I mentioned in my last update that my dermatologist had put me on the bigger 50mg dose and that I had been getting horrific headaches. I decided to go back down to the 40mg, and when I had my 4 month appointment my dermatologist said I had made the decisions and I will continue on 40mg for the rest of my treatment. I have found that the headaches have definitely way laid and I have been much happier.

I went for my six month appointment a week early last week due me to going on holiday. I saw the consultant dermatologist who was the doctor who finally listened and gave me the option of starting roaccutane back in February. As he hadn't seen me since I had started the treatment he asked me how I felt I was getting on. I said I was happy and I felt as though the spots were now coming at a much slower rate than previously. He was very open and said I want you to come back to me in two months and say I haven't had a new spot in one month. He said until I get to that point the spots will continue to come back post treatment. I liked how honest he was with me, he said the spots will still come back post treatment but hopefully at a much more slower rate and not the way they were before. I want to finish this treatment spot - free. He said at month eight's appointment in October he is hoping I will have just one more month, and my treatment will be completed at nine months.

I am honestly so happy to have made it to month six, and I am hoping the next three months do not bring any complications. I am delighted with how my skin is progressing, and seeing the change is definitely what is pursuing me to carrying on. The end is definitely in sight



Wednesday, 8 August 2018

La Roche Posay Suncream

Trust me to start an intense skincare regime programme, which requires the least contact with sunlight as possible when it is Britain's hottest summer in 50 years. There is no denying that the sun most days has been a pleasant surprise, but some days it has been very overwhelming.

A few weekends ago, I went to a festival in London and it was over 30 degrees and I was sweltering. Thankfully, I had packed my trusty La Roche-Posay Anthelios fresh mist sun spray. Firstly, this has an spf 50 which is what my dermatologist has told me to wear. This has a very light mist spray which is super easy and convenient to apply. I thought this would have a much thicker consistency which is what I hate about sun cream. I hate the feeling of having heavy sun cream sat on top of my skin, and that is why I love this so much. It is a simple spray which has a thin consistency due to the added ingredient of thermal spring water. It feels like it is just simply air adding coolness to the skin, which is also refreshing and adds some hydration which is great for a very hot and sweltering day.

I was initially worried that as I was needing an spf 50 on my face it was going to cause breakouts. So far with this spray it has not caused any particular problems to my skin. It is suitable for fair, sun-sensitive skin. I was happy to see that it contains a broad spectrum of skin protection and protects again both UVA and UVB. I was intrigued to read that due to its fast drying properties it can be worn on top of makeup which is great as usually sun cream would come as my first layer before any makeup application.



Wednesday, 1 August 2018

Child's Farm Baby Moisturiser

My skin has become the driest it has ever been whilst being on roaccutane for the past 7 months. I have never particularly struggled with dry skin before, and at the start of my treatment I was throwing any moisturiser on which I could find. For my face I have been using a combination of Kiehl's oil free ultra facial cream and La Roche Posay's effcalar H, and they have been working really well together. I found that my makeup has not been sitting on top of my skin after these product have given my skin a boost of hydration.

I first noticed changes to the skin on my body about a month into treatment, and it looked little eczema patches. I was also just having generally dry skin across my entire body and was in instant need of something to help. My dad has eczema but his creams made me really itchy and I couldn't keep them on as they really stung my skin. This was around the time I started to see the hype all about this Childs Farm baby moisturiser. As with everything, I was trying to get it everywhere but it was sold out for weeks, I finally got my hands on it and was super impressed with its £3.99 price tag. The creators of this line have made it with the target audience of babies with sensitive or eczema prone skin. 

It is a very simple white emollient cream, and I love the pump feature on the top of the bottle. The cream has a medium consistency and can be applied to any part of the body including the face. They have built this product around using natural ingredients and not using anything which could react with the skin such as parabens. It does have a mild fragrance of shea and cocoa butter which it always an added bonus, and these ingredients also add hydrating properties. 

I haven't found that this has instantly cured my skin, but I have been using it regularly and I have seen a difference. A couple of weekends ago I headed to a festival and the night before I was due to go, the inside of my knees came out in a really dry harsh looking rash which was full of little spots. It was really itchy and uncomfortable and it was also very sunny weather outside. I applied this and I felt it soothe the area of skin over the next few hours after it had soaked in. It took a good 5-6 days for it to go completely go away but I think this definitely helped to hydrate the area of skin. One of the moisturisers main features is to stop irritation and has a no sting formula. The only negative aspect I would say is after application I find my skin to be a little bit tacky. I usually apply this cream in the morning and night depending on how dry or rashy my skin is looking.   



Sunday, 22 July 2018

Summer Makeup Routine

With this unexpected heatwave which has swiped the UK my makeup routine has taken a turn. I did a whole blog post dedicated to Primark's new velvet foundation which I have been loving, it is a medium to full coverage foundation which is buildable but in this heat it is breathable and does not settle into the skin. I am also still loving Revolution's define and conceal concealer for £4, it is such a great full coverage concealer which does exactly what you want it to.

As you can probably see from the picture I still use this Mac blusher in the shade peachykeens on a daily basis and have been for months. It is such a lovely medium rose shade which is vibrant and I think this would suit most skin tones. My most recent addition to my collection is Becca's champagne pop highlighter. I have fallen in love with this and it has added so much shimmer and shine to my makeup look and it pulls everything together perfectly. I am unable to have my eyebrows dyed or waxed at the moment due to my skin being so fragile, therefore I have been trying to keep them tame myself. I have been using the Benefit's goof proof eyebrow pencil in a medium brown shade which matches my complexion really well. I love the waxy texture to the product which makes it easy to apply and to fill in little gaps, and the angle of the tip makes it easy to replicate brow hairs.

Overall, I have not being wearing much eye makeup at all as I find that mascara tends to make my eyes very itchy when the weather is hot as they become dry. The only thing I do ensure that I use is some sort of setting spray to help everything stay on my face and keep it looking as fresh as possible.



Wednesday, 18 July 2018

La Roche Posay Shampoo

At the start of my roaccutane treatment one of the first thing I noticed was how dry and flaky my scalp was becoming. As you may know I am a lover of La Roche-Posay and their skincare and whilst I was making another order of their trusty cleansers, I ended up on their hair care page. I was instantly drawn into this shampoo, which is part of their kerium range which aims to hydrate hair and the scalp.

I have been using the kerium cream shampoo for at least 3 months now, and I have been so happy with how well it has worked on my hair and scalp. The shampoo contains an exfoliating agent which eliminates dandruff and encourages new cell growth. It also contains anti-inflammatory vitamins which aim to rehydrate hair and tackle any dryness. This shampoo is aimed at those with dry scalps, within this range their is also a shampoo to target oily scalps.

I have been using this shampoo three times a week since buying it. I saw some pretty instant results as within two weeks I already felt that my scalp was a lot less dry than it had been. Previously, when I brushed my hair I had a lot of dandruff and my scalp was very itchy and uncomfortable. I have been very happy with the results. This shampoo does not have a particular scent, and when squeezed out the bottle it is a white cream with a thin consistency. I ensure I moisturise it well into my scalp and throughout my hair, and it feels very nourishing when washing the shampoo out. My scalp has been so much better since using this, and I will definitely be trying more La Roche-Posay hair care products in the future. This costs £10 for a 200ml bottle (it is currently on offer for £6.66!).



Wednesday, 11 July 2018

Primark Velvet Finish Foundation

Whilst on the hunt for the must have matte foundation from Primark which has been compared to Estee Lauder's double wear, I stumbled across their velvet foundation. I was instantly drawn into everything the bottle was telling me. It is described as a velvet finish foundation, which is medium-full coverage and acts like a second skin. As you may know, my skin is very dry at the moment due to my current acne medication. This means I have been staying clear of truly matte foundations as know matter how much moisturiser and primer I apply, it will settle into the dry patches on my skin. Therefore, the velvet finish foundation was instantly put into my basket in less than 30 seconds.

This comes in a glass bottle which I am not a big fan of as they heavy, bulky and inconvenient for both storage and travelling. However, it makes the bottle look more luxurious and much more high end. I am going to discuss the only thing I dislike about this foundation, and it is actually nothing to do with the product it is in fact the peppet you use to get the product out. It makes life so difficult, you have to press to suck the product up the tube and then press again to get it out. However, it drops very little product and you have to do it 5 or 6 times to get the desired amount out. I have found it inconvenient in the morning when you are in a rush. I have tried just pouring it out but you always end up with a little bit too much and it is much harder to control how much of the product you want. Primark please put a pump on this to save my sanity in the mornings!

I have been testing this for at least 6 weeks now and my verdict is I am a big fan of it. This costs just £6 and for this quality a high end brand would easily put this out on the market for £20+. If you having been reading my blog for a while you will know my fussiest product which I ever review is foundation, and I have put up a lot of disappointing foundations reviews. I think the drugstores contain so many amazing products which save us all so much money, but foundations is a place they really need to step up their game. High street brands just can't seem to compete with high end brands in terms of quality and colour range. I am disappointed to say that there was only about five shades available in this foundation. I picked up the shade porcelain. I have light toned skin but I wouldn't usually describe my tone as porcelain, however it was the only shade closest to my skin tone as the next shade up was way too dark for me. When applying it to the skin it is a little bit too light but on the whole it is a pretty decent match. I usually just mix it with one little blob of my Vichy dermablend foundation which is a little bit darker.

I have never had a foundation which has been referred to as a velvet finish so I was intrigued to find out what it had in store for me. The finish is lovely it is a demi-matte which I like as it still has a glowing element to it, but it dries down to a finish which has a slightly matte touch and is not too shiny. This is a perfect bridge between that matte and glowy finish which is perfect for the summer. I only have to apply one or sometimes two layers, using my damp beauty blender to create a medium to full coverage. If you do want a more full coverage foundation, you can easily achieve this without it looking to thick and it still looks like skin. For £6, every time I go into Primark I have been looking to get a second bottle, but it is always sold out. I have only ever seen it in a store on the first occasion which I bought it. This is always the problem with Primark, as with everything that they sell you only ever see things once and then it is gone forever. This is really dissapointing as I would definitely stock up on this as it has fast become a favourite foundation of mine. This is the first Primark foundation which I have bought and I have been very impressed. This is easily one of the best budget foundations out there which I have ever tried.


Wednesday, 20 June 2018

Colourpop Lux Lipsticks

Top to bottom: lay over, still crazy and uno mas

I have been a huge fan of Colourpop since it's launch all of those years ago. It is one of the only American brands which I am willing to spend the shipping and delivery costs on, because everytime I order something I am always impressed. It is a budget brand which is always competing with high end brands in America due to its impressive quality of all of their products. 

I recently saw the launch of their Lux Lipsticks and the pictures and videos got me very excited. There is no denying I am a lipstick lover, but I have actually not bought any actual lipsticks in quite a while. I have been loving liquid lipsticks for a long time now, and I definitely deserted my classic lipsticks. I was very excited for these to arrive, and as always they are a great product.

There is no denying this packaging is beautiful, but they definitely resemble Charlotte Tilbury's brand as her packaging is a full rose gold tube. However, these do differ in terms of having a star design all over them and it is a bigger tube. I think the packaging is lovely, and it does give it a luxury feel. 

I picked up three shades from this line, and I am very happy with them all. It is a full coverage lipstick line which are very pigmented and you only need one swipe to achieve a full application. The lipsticks glide on to the lips very easily and instantly feel soft and smooth, which is a massive bonus for me as I have very dry lips at the moment. The formula isn't thick or chunky, and it doesn't settle into the creases of my lips. It dries down to a semi-matte finish but it still feels comfortable and creamy. 

I have been wearing lay over the most which is a massive surprise me, as I usually love more pinky toned shades. This a brown toned rosy beige but I can also see some plum tones running through it, when I first applied it it reminded me of Charlotte Tilbury's stoned rose which is one of my most used lipsticks ever. It is one of those lipsticks you can leave in your handbag and it will go with whatever you are wearing for any occasion. I have been totally loving this, and if you are making an order definitely add this to your basket.

Still crazy is a classic 'me' shade. Like I just say I naturally venture towards any lipsticks which have a pink tone to them. This is just that, it is a mid toned rosy pink but it has this beautiful mauvy tone through it which makes it a little bit more purple toned and I love that about it. I am not into bright fuchsia pinks, I like something a little more subtle with a darker undertone to it. This is going to be my new go to night time lipstick as it is so beautiful.

Uno mars is the shade I was most surprised about when it arrived. I had watched a YouTube video from Kathleen Lights where she swatched all of the shades, and from that this was the one I decided I had to have no matter what. However, when she swatched and applied it to her lips it looked much darker. It is definitely lighter than I thought it would be, but that is what I have been enjoying. There is no denying that I already have a lot of nudes shades so this is definitely going to add some variety to my collection. It is a peachy toned nude which I would instantly describe as coral. I know I will get so much wear out of this in the Summer, and I can imagine wearing it day or night to add some brightness and flare to my makeup. 

As you can probably tell I have been very happy with all three of these shades, and once again Colourpop have brought out a great line of budget lipsticks which are all excellent quality. These are all $7 each which is just over £5 when converted. I can not think off the top of my head any brands in the UK which have lipsticks which costs £5 and are as good as these. Colourpop please come to the UK as soon as possible, however that would definitely lead me to making weekly orders!

In terms of shipping and delivery costs, I always try and order from the brand when they are offering free delivery in America. If you order less than £15 worth of products when converted from dollars to pounds you do not have to pay any import costs. A few years ago, I wrote a full post about how to ship things over the cheapest way which you can read here. Import costs can add a lot on the overall price of your package, and a budget friendly order suddenly turns into not being such a bargain any more. I always do a quick conversion to see what dollars to pound is currently worth. When I ordered these $21 was just less than £15, so I got away with no import fees. The time before this, I got caught out and I had to pay £13 in import fees.

I cannot wait to make my next order and I definitely have my eyes on their new foundation.


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